Other road users, uninsured drivers, hit and run drivers, multiple collisions, defective road surfaces, unmarked junctions and escaped animals are just some of the causes of road traffic accidents.
Thankfully, although undoubtedly traumatic, many road traffic accidents result in injuries that are less than serious although painful and upsetting. However, serious injuries involving the brain and spine can and do frequently happen, and when they do there is often the need for a complex forensic investigation of the accident circumstances and accident scene involving reconstruction and road safety evidence. There may be police and criminal court involvement and it is important that the injured person and their loved ones have the best possible support and assistance to guide them through troubling times.
Whilst motorcyclists account for just 1% of the total road traffic they make up 19% of all road deaths. They are approximately 35 times more likely to be killed as a result of a road traffic accident than those in a car. According to ROSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) the top 5 causes of motorcycle accidents are;
- Failure to negotiate a left hand bend
- Failure to negotiate a right hand bend
- Collisions at junctions – “Sorry mate, I just didn’t see you” (SMIDSY) accidents
- Loss of control
Accidents can also be caused by potholes and defective road surfaces, diesel/oil spills, hit and run drivers, pillion passengers and defective products, i.e. protective clothing or helmets.
Bikers are at a greater risk and more vulnerable to sustaining brain and spinal injuries than other road users, with road traffic accidents being the most common cause of spinal cord injuries.
With approximately 80% of motorcycle accidents being as a direct result of car driver error, rather than rider error, a claim for compensation may be brought against the person responsible.
Pedestrians are the most vulnerable of all road users. ROSPA estimate that nearly 26,000 pedestrians are injured on our roads, with nearly 8,000 of them being children.
Pedestrian accidents are traumatic for all concerned and in addition to unquestioned legal skills require compassion and the ability to tell the story of the injured person and their family.
In cases involving pedestrian accidents extensive investigation is often unavoidable and also necessary. A detailed analysis of the evidence will be required, and a number of factors such as;
- Speed of travel, distances or travel,time of travel
- Line of sight
- Street furniture and parked cars
- Vehicle debris, throw distances, skid marks
- Volume of traffic and pedestrian usage, will need to be considered.
It will often be necessary to obtain reports from specialists in reconstruction and road safety, in addition to obtaining police evidence in those cases where the police have had some involvement.
It is important to note that in any car or motorcycle accident that even though your insurer may wish to refer you to their ‘panel’ solicitor, you do not have to use that solicitor and are free to use who you want without penalty.